America has George Washington. Scotland has William Wallace of Braveheart fame. France has Joan of Arc.
Wales has Owain Glyndwr, who is in some measure all three at once. As I write in the Introduction to the just-published Owain Glyndwr: A Casebook — a 620-page resource of materials on this fascinating medieval Welshman, co-edited by myself and John K. Bollard — this man was indeed, as Shakespeare has him report of himself in 1 Henry IV, “not in the roll of common men”:
Owain Glyndwr was and is a great many things to a great many people: a prince and a savage, a rebel and a patriot, a gentleman and an outlaw, a scholar and a magician. If he was for the Welsh a symbol of their hopes and dreams, then he was for the English a figuration of their fears and nightmares. Owain is, simply put, one of those extraordinary figures of history who were, even in their own time, legend. (p. xiii)
It is with great pleasure that I report that the book was launched with some fanfare at the National Library of Wales, and that early reviews are very positive about the volume. Owain Glyndwr: A Casebook is available wherever fine books are sold.